Captured IS member repents for joining the group: 'I realised that this is not about God'

A refugee woman from the minority Yazidi sect, who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, sits with a child inside a tent at Nowruz refugee camp in Qamishli, northeastern Syria August 17, 2014.(Photo: REUTERS/Rodi Said)

Hundreds of Islamic State (IS) members are being held captive by the Kurds in Sulaymaniyah, and face prison or even death for their crimes against religious minorities.

While some deflected responsibility for the atrocities they committed, others have reportedly expressed regret for joining the terrorist organisation.

One captured IS member from Dor sal-hadeen said that he joined the militants in June after they took over his village.

"They came to our area and forced me to protect their lands," the man, using the name "Omar," told Fox News in an interview published Friday. "After a while they told me, 'When are you going to start protecting your own land?'

"They told me to do it or die, and then they killed people in front of me."

Omar said he was also incentivised by the prospect of leaving his new wife.

"Something in her head – she looked normal on the outside, but she wasn't," he explained, adding that she "couldn't have babies."

The 25-year-old admitted to killing 70 people for "saying bad words about [one of the Prophet Muhammad's wives] Aisha," and "burning a mosque."

He now says that he was a victim of IS, did not act on his own will, and wants to fight against them. Omar fled the terrorist group but was captured by the Kurds in October. He was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to life in prison, commuted from a death sentence.

Another IS member held by the Kurds, Dawen, said he was intrigued by IS after reading the group's Facebook posts encouraging Muslims to join the fight in Syria. After 20 days with the terrorists, he felt he made a mistake.

"I realised that this is not about God, especially after I was captured," he admitted. "I realise this isn't about God; it is about harming people. Also, the Kurdish people were nice even with my situation."

The 19-year-old described how it felt to tell his family he had joined IS.

"I called my family and they were not happy, it was shameful," Dawen lamented. "I felt weak because they made me act and think a certain way... I was asking for forgiveness, even while there."

Dawen faces terrorism charges and has not yet been sentenced.

An anonymous security official told Fox News that it is easy for IS to recruit young Muslim men as members.

"Understand that most are young and have no information," he explained. "They are impressionable. They listen to the second-life paradise story, 72 virgins, rivers of wine, and [staying] young forever. That is all they know.

"Some regret their actions, some do not."